An action figure is a poseable character figurine, made of plastic or other materials, and often based upon characters from a film, comic book, video game, or television program.
Probably the best go to online retailer for all things collectible related (or in the realm of what we in this thread collect). Big selling point is their Pile of Loot (POL) system. For up to six months, you can hold your order in warehouse after payment, which saves on overall shipping costs. Can be shipped at any time at the click of a button, and will automatically do so if not shipped within the timeframe. No non-refundable deposits (NRDs) on most items of reasonable cost. They don’t really start coming into play until the large $1K+ statues. Will not typically scalp on preorder prices, but once an item is in stock all bets are off. Good sales won’t be found here, nor will any sort of coupon code.
- Types of items sold: most main line collectibles (Sideshow/Hot Toys, Hasbro, Mattel, Diamond Select, Enterbay, Asmus, NECA, DC Collectibles, Play Arts Kai, Figuarts)
- Fun tip: if you’re interested in the stock they have left, just place an item in your cart, put an obscene number in, and it will auto adjust to their stock.
- Located in Wisconsin
Official distributor of Hot Toys for the US. Has a customer points system where they will give back 10% of the cost of the item purchased, which become active 30 days after it ships, for use on items on their site (typically new preorders are excluded). Has a waitlist program for out of stock items as well. Is typically the only retailer who receives the Hot Toys exclusive figures (like the yearly Toy Fair figures) in the US. Typically charges a NRD of 10% the base cost on figures above $250. Sends out a lot of coupon codes and has free shipping on older items usually.
- Located in California
- Types of items sold: Hot Toys figures, Sideshow 1/6 figures, Sideshow statues, some MonsterArts and Play Arts Kai figures.
Similar to BigBadToyStore in terms of what is sold, but at higher costs and in a much more confusing website. Great for buying in bulk or finding smaller novelty items. 90 day returns are their major offering over other online retailers in the collecting community.
- Types of items sold: most main line collectibles (Sideshow/Hot Toys, Hasbro, Mattel, Diamond Select, Enterbay, NECA, DC Collectibles, Play Arts Kai).
- Located in California
The biggest retailer of nerd goods in the UK, this retailer carries a lot of your figure needs, though at higher prices. Great variety of figures, but it can be pretty hard to find a certain figure from a line if you're looking in-store.
- UK based comic book store and online retailer. Main store is located in London, with various other stores across the UK.
- Types of items sold: Hasbro (Marvel Legends/Universe, Star Wars), Hot Toys, Sideshow Collectibles, NECA, DC Collectibles, Play Arts Kai, Mattel, Diamond Select.
The other Forbidden Planet. As you can tell by the name, they are quite international and even have a store in New York City. Started out from Scotland and expanded to other countries, this Forbidden Planet carries some things that the other doesn't, such as certain Funko Pop!, and at lower prices.
- Types of items sold: Hasbro, (No Marvel Legends), Hot Toys, Funko, Sideshow Collectibles, NECA, Diamond Select.
Possibly the most interesting place to buy Hot Toys figures currently, as they offer slight discounts and have their own rewards system as well, where 50 points is equal to $1. Unlike Sideshow, they do deal in lower end collectibles, such as DC Collectibles statues or bulk buys of their action figures. Does not typically sell single figures of the lower end variety.
- Located in Ohio
- Types of items sold: statues of various brands, Hot Toys, Sideshow Collectibles.
The new guy. Does not deal in higher end collectibles, but has a large variety of the lower end, including practically all of the Hasbro lines, NECA, DC Collectibles, and Funko. Biggest appeal is to collectors located in California, as there is no sales tax charge, as well as free shipping on select items.
Typically good at carrying newer figures and waves, but the main issue becomes fighting scalpers. Out of all the brick and mortar retailers, they have the widest selection brand wise (huge bonus in selling NECA products) but sometimes not worth the effort. Website will have a “Pick Up in Store” feature on select items, but typically hit and miss.
My personal favorite and easily the most recommendable of the big three. Usually has newer stock than Walmart, but what puts them above the rest is their DCPI feature, a code unique to each line of product. Very helpful when looking for newer waves of figures, as you are able to check on the scanner to see if there are any in the back room, or easily ask an employee to check without having to explain to them the item. The only issue that comes from this is that their online stock checker becomes untrustworthy, as it is unable to identify individual items in store.
Credit to Haloid1177 for the retailer write up.
Images of your collections are welcome.